Board for COVID-19 Trust fund to be inaugurated by Tuesday – President

Accra President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Sunday said the legal formalities to establish the Trust Fund to assist the poor and vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis would be completed by Monday, March 30, 2020 for its timely inauguration.

The Attorney-General, he said, was working on the legal bit to enable the trustees of the fund to be known as the COVID-19 National Public Trust Fund, to begin work as soon as possible.

The President in his fourth National Broadcast, last Friday, to update citizens on measures to counter the spread of the Coronavirus, announced that Government had set up a fund to receive donations and contributions from the public to ease the social and economic distress of the poor and vulnerable.

The President explained: “The Attorney-General is working on it, and by tomorrow the formalities will be complete…. and as soon as possible by Tuesday, you can have your first meeting and begin to programme your work,” President Akufo-Addo said when he met the nominees of the Board of Trustees of the Fund at the Jubilee House, Accra.

The eight-member board, expected to be inaugurated by the President on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, will be chaired by former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, while Dr. Collins Asare, will serve as the Secretary to the Board.

They rest are: Archbishop Justice Ofei Akrofi, a former Anglican Bishop of Accra and former Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa, Mr. Jude Kofi Bucknor, a reputed investment banker, Mrs. Gifty Affenyi- Dadzie, a former member of the Council of State, Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Ofori Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer of the Special Ice Group of Companies and Dr. Abdul-Samed Tanko, a renowned cardiologist.

President Akufo-Addo told the nominees that since the outbreak of the virus in the country, the government had received significant offers of assistance from individuals and institutions, with many others eager to contribute not knowing how to do so.

“I felt that the best way was to establish a public trust, so that the monies that come do not get intermingled with Government money and all of those problems,” the President explained.

“The public trust is to be managed by an independent body of trustees, so that people will see that these monies are being properly accounted for and properly deployed,” he said.

The told the Trustees that he had had to meet them ahead of the completion of legal formalities to establish the Fund to highlight its overarching importance to the Government’s efforts at addressing the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disadvantaged.

He explained: “You have been put together for this exercise essentially to complement the efforts the Government and the State are making over this crisis, especially with a particular focus on the consideration that has to be made for the needy and the vulnerable.

“Whatever monies we raise, that is the target.”

Expressing “full confidence in the integrity of all the trustees and their dedication to the public welfare of our country”, the President charged them to ensure that all their outcomes on the board were transparent, quality and fulfilled the purpose for which the trust had been set up.

He pledged the full support of Government for the work to be done, saying, “The machinery of government will be aligned to be able to support you for the work that you will be doing”.

“I believe sincerely, my conviction on that is profound, that the cooperation of persons like you, the cooperation of the generality of the Ghanaian people, and, of course, with the support of the Almighty, I believe that this challenge is one that we shall overcome,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo urged the Bank of Ghana to support the Board of Trustees to open Bank Accounts in selected banks through which contributors, both home and aboard, could utilise to deposit their donations to guarantee proper accountability of all funds realised.

Justice Sophia Akuffo, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them and assured that they would fulfil the purpose for which it was set up.

President Akufo-Addo in announcing the Fund, directed the Controller and Accountant General to remit his next three months’ salary – April, May and June – into the Fund.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has followed suit by also donating his pay check for the same period.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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